A beta version of the new WhatsApp app is now available to download, after what seems like forever, and if brings some brilliant new features. Being a UWP app means that the same app can run on not only Windows 10 and Windows 11, but also Xbox consoles.
It is important to note that this UWP app is different to the existing WhatsApp desktop app. For starters, it is available to download from the Microsoft Store, and this is where future app updates will be handled as well.
If you're looking for a reason to make the switch from the desktop app to the UWP version, the fact that this new release uses fewer system resources is very attractive. Despite being classed as a beta version, the app seems stable and reliable.
Shiny and new
What can you expect from this latest release? Although it's not yet complete, there are already lots of features to explore. For many people the highlight will be multi-device support. This means that it is possible to use WhatsApp to chat with others without the need to have your phone to hand – in fact, your phone doesn't even need to be connected to the internet.
Other key features include video calling, a new look complete with Windows 11's transparent acrylic effects, and incredibly fast launch times. Perhaps the most useful feature of this new app is the way notifications work.
As this is a UWP app, background syncing is available, and this means that notifications will appear even when the app is not open.
There is a lot to love in the new WhatsApp, and this is a beta version that is still undergoing development so, with feedback from users, it is going to improve further and gain even more features in the future.
If you're interested in trying out the app, you can download it from the Microsoft Store here (opens in new tab).
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